There is always the dilemma, in forming action groups, of how to bring in those who are outside your circle of contacts. Plus, there are people who simply do not want to join your cause. But something like a transition group needs to communicate with everybody.... that is the whole point .... to make change for everyone and have the whole community onside. The other problem is funding.... there's no money for signs and posters and hiring halls for meetings. Luckily here the bottom pub kindly lets us have meetings there...and of course everyone buys coffee, drinks, snacks etc so it is a win/win situation.
In order to forge community spirit and start people thinking about the whole local thing, a member of our transition group is organising a raffle. He has been to every business in Cygnet (that's not many!) and from them has received a voucher for whatever it is they do/sell.
To enter the draw to win a prize you simply shop/do business at a local shop/ hairdresser/ real estate agents etc... free entry, no strings attached.
Every time you shop locally, you get a raffle ticket. Brilliant, don't you think? Prizes will be the vouchers he has collected from the businesses.
This brings together everyone, not just people interested in the transition movement, and throws at them a morsel of enticement to think local, as a first step. It incorporates the local shops too, and getting business onside is paramount. People stand outside the shops, chatting, and their news travels from one person to the next. If someone has just been given a raffle ticket for buying something at the bakery, the IGA, the butcher then soon everyone she passes in the street (of this small town) will know.
At this stage, it does not matter what they buy.... the first step is to get them to buy in Cygnet instead of driving to the big supermarkets further afield. I love our local shops and find there is barely anything I need which I cannot get here (except for the totally useless Mitre 0/10, that is!)
Rod is doing a great job with the Transition Cygnet website and evidently there is a logo happening. We just need people to use it the website.... and slowly the wheels will start to turn.